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Eventide by Kent Haruf

Eventide (edition 2005)

by Kent Haruf

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Authors:Kent Haruf
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned, Read in 2012

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Eventide by Kent Haruf



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I listened to the audio version of this book and found it entrancing. Did not want the book to end. ( )
  CheryleFisher | Sep 5, 2014 |
This will be placed somewhere near the top of my list of favorite books. Real, raw and wonderful. The characters are amazing. Somehow simple things, like two characters grocery shopping, are beautiful the way Haruf writes them. I will be moving quickly on the Benediction and probably through everything else he has written. ( )
  KRaySaulis | Aug 13, 2014 |
Weakest in trilogy. Sentimental. Sense the author as puppeteer of outcomes in spite of bleakness of some of the characters's lives. Had I read this first - would I have read the others? Nope? The Macpherons are borderline stereotypes, familiars of dozens of films. Hoyt is a baddy straight out of Huck Finn. The women are either: saints, tarts or put-upons. Glad he saved his real ammo for book 3. The End. ( )
  adrianburke | Jun 16, 2014 |
Really enjoyed this story; set in a small town in Colorado. Two elederly brothers take in a single young woman with a child, while other folks stories weave in and out of their lives.
  jamesju | Jun 8, 2014 |
Set in rural Holt, Colorado, like Plainsong before it, Eventide is the story of a host of unforgettable characters, memorable not for their extraordinariness, but for their relatable familiarity. Victoria Roubideaux and her infant daughter, Katie, have left the McPheron brothers’ farm for Fort Collins, where Victoria is attending college. But the four continue to share a bond much richer than one limited to blood ties. Luther and Betty Wallace and, by extension, their two young children, represent society’s marginalized citizens: those without a voice, unable to defend either themselves or their children, and easy prey to humanity’s maleficence. Lovely, middle-aged social worker, Rose Tyler, knows the Wallaces professionally; and she knows the value of human dignity. Rose will come to know Raymond McPheron, too. A young school-aged boy, DJ Kephart, who knows far too much about loss for one his age, resides with his crotchety grandfather. DJ will look for kinship in Dena and Emma Wells, young neighbour girls about his age, who have lost their father to Alaska and their mother to alcohol. All of Eventide’s characters look for belonging, for friendship, for comfort and for love: for those things which, in their experience, blood ties have failed to provide. And all are made richer for their relationships with one another.

Expect more perfection from Haruf in Eventide. This second novel in the Plainsong trilogy is another I could not put down. Characteristically, Haruf’s characters drive the novel; not much happens here in terms of plot. His prose, so deceptively simple, so spare, and so beautiful, is entirely compelling. Case in point, this sentence:

“And farther away, outside of town, out on the high plains, there would be the blue yardlights shining from the tall poles at all the isolated farms and ranches in all the flat treeless country, and presently the wind would come up, blowing across the open spaces, traveling without obstruction across the wide fields of winter wheat and across the ancient native pastures and the graveled county roads, carrying with it a pale dust as the dark approached and the nighttime gathered round.” (Ch 46)

Most highly recommended! ( )
6 vote lit_chick | May 24, 2014 |
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Abide with me: fast falls the eventide; The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide. When other helpers fail, and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. - Henry R. Lyte
For Cathy and in memory of my nephew Mark Kelley Haruf
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They came up from the horse barn in the slanted light of early morning.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375725768, Paperback)

Kent Haruf, author of Plainsong, one of the most beloved novels in recent years, has wisely continued the franchise in Eventide, another foray into the prairie town of Holt, Colorado. We meet some of the same people--the McPheron brothers, Tom Guthrie and Maggie Jones, Victoria and her daughter Katie, and are introduced to new ones. Once again, the quirky bachelors Harold and Raymond McPheron, short on conversation and long on heart, form the sweet center of the book. The constants here are the brothers, the landscape--by turns hostile, demanding and renewing--and a few of the locals, whom we meet in varying degrees of their travails and redemption.

Victoria, the young pregnant woman the brothers took in in Plainsong, has gone off to college at Fort Collins, leaving the brothers standing at the kitchen counter, "drinking coffee and talking about how Victoria Roubideaux was doing a hundred and twenty-five miles away from home ... while they themselves were living as usual in the country in Holt County ... with so much less to account for now that she was gone, and a wind rising up and starting to whine outside the house." Much as Seinfeld was called the TV show about nothing, Haruf's books are so low-key and straightforward that a careless reader might miss the fact that they are about everything that life has to offer: love, sorrow, malice, understanding, and the connections that make and keep us human, to name a few.

DJ is an 11-year-old living alone with his grandfather, when he befriends two young girls whose father left for Alaska and decided not to return. Their mother is mired in grief and the three children, abandoned by the adults in their lives, find refuge in an old shed they make habitable. "So for a while the two sisters and the boy lay on the floor under the blankets, reading books in the dim candlelight, with the sun falling down outside in the alley, the three of them talking a little softly, drinking coffee from a thermos, and what was happening in the houses they’d come from, seemed, for that short time, of little importance." One of Haruf's particular gifts is in showing us people who give and take solace wherever it may be found.

An unfortunate disabled couple, parents of two young children, are trying to make their way in a world they cannot fathom. They are assisted by Rose Tyler, their caseworker, who is a friend of Maggie Jones. aggie, who drew Tom Guthrie out of his depression in Plainsong, is once again a catalyst for change when she introduces Rose to Raymond. There is no doubt more to come, as life in Holt, Colorado, continues to evolve and Kent Haruf keeps us informed. --Valerie Ryan

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:51 -0400)

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A novel of small-town life in the high plains region around Holt, Colorado, follows the challenges, emotional upheaval, tragedies, and intertwined destinies of the local inhabitants as they cope with the changes they encounter.

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